Over the past several years, I’ve had a few friends, acquaintances, and artists I’ve admired commit suicide. And my immediate thought, like yours probably, has been, “Oh, god, dude. Why didn’t you call? I would have dropped everything to come be with you.”
Some languages have two distinct words for “to know”: one for “I’m aware” and the other for “I’ve been there.”
I didn’t really grasp the misery of asthma until spending a week with an upper respiratory inflammation that had me gasping for air. Didn’t grasp the misery of “fibro fog” until the recurring fog of my own intermittent left cerebral “static.”
Didn’t grasp the depths of depression that can make the simple act of phoning an act of hope, when there is none.
The gallows humor of my title says that I’m not there. Happily, I live with a couple of people who didn’t have to be phoned.
I wonder if things might have been different for those lost friends, if someone had phoned them, instead.